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Monday, December 12, 2016

End of the Year Dash

At this time of the year, it's hard to settle down and get excited about the holidays. I'm too busy trying to survive Q4 at work, purchase the perfect gifts, and finalize plans with family and friends.

Oh and on top of that, I'm expected to be "holly and jolly." Talk about multitask overload.

At this point, I'm just excited to have a few days off but between traveling to four different Christmas celebrations this year, I already find myself stressed out. 

This isn't what the holidays are supposed to be about. I'm not supposed to have my stomach in knots weeks before. I'm supposed to be overcome with happiness. 

Another time where stress gets the best of me...

I've been exploring new ways to deal with my stress and anxiety more so recently. What they don't tell you in college is that your stress will only continue to increase the older you get. Everything from relaxing scents to meditation/yoga. At the end of the day, sometimes the best remedy is slow, deep breaths. 

When you're feeling stressed out during this time of the year or any other day, always remind yourself that this is only a moment, it's not a lifetime. You will get it sorted out. Take deep breaths. 

For those of you who have considered trying yoga or meditation, I cannot recommend it enough. I've been practicing yoga for about two years now. To say it has been life changing would be an understatement. I've recently been getting more into meditation--more of a guided relaxation program--and sometimes, these are the only two things that keep me sane.

For any beginners looking to try yoga, I recommend visiting your local YMCA. Some of my favorite classes are at the YMCA and it's a lot less pricey than standard yoga studios. This way, you can try it out before making a huge commitment. Some yoga studios--such as Yoga One in Charlotte--do offer special deals for new members. It's worth checking it out, you never know if it could become a new hobby!

Even for those interested in meditation, Johnston YMCA, located in Noda, offers a introduction to meditation course on Thursday nights. I've had some express interest in meditation but feel they wouldn't be able to calm their thoughts long enough to practice. If you think meditation is about silencing your thoughts then you've never been inside my head. I don't think anything could silence these 90 MPH thoughts I have 24/7. It's more so about balancing your thoughts, slowing them, and focusing on things past them. The cool thing about this intro class is that it's in the middle of a busy Y. On Thursday nights, there is often a Zumba class down the hallway. We can adjust the sounds that are inside of our heads, but we learn to live with them and focus on something deeper. This is what I think meditation is about. 

Definitely start with a yin yoga or deep stretching class. This is not so much about moves but more about stretching, channeling your thoughts, and lengthening your breath. One of my favorite classes is a Monday night class at the Harris Express YMCA in Charlotte. It's a yin yoga class where, instead of fluid movements, it's more about settling into a position and holding it for three to five minutes. Coming from someone who works a desk job, this is probably saving my back's life. 

For anyone based in Charlotte, if you're interested in checking out yoga, let me know. You can even find a friend or family member who is a member of the Y and visit for free. 

All I can do now is hope that Santa got my memo that I REALLY need a new yoga mat this year. *Hint hint*. 

To all those brave warriors who are fighting the "end of the year" battle, you can do it!! We're almost home free to the fresh start of 2017. 

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